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Ruto offers land grabbers chance to save their homes & flats from demolition

President Ruto offers chance for land grabbers to save homes from demolition on one condition

President William Ruto takes charge of a grader during the groundbreaking ceremony for affordable housing project in Thika town on Wednesday, August 9, 2023

President William Ruto has offered a lifeline to individuals accused of land encroachment, providing them with an opportunity to save their homes from impending demolition.

The announcement came during a public address at the Kenya Institute of Special Education in Kasarani on Thursday, October 26, where the president disclosed that some individuals had built structures on land belonging to the institution.

Speaking at the event, President Ruto conveyed his willingness to negotiate with the alleged landgrabbers, emphasizing the need for funds to support the establishment of a factory.

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He stated, "For the land that is in this institution, I'm told some people have built flats around here on land that does not belong to them. So we are going to agree with them. We need the money to go and do the factory."

The president further explained the intended purpose of the funds, emphasizing the construction of a factory dedicated to producing devices for children with special needs.

"So tutakata hapo watulipe pesa, market value. Tutengeneze factory ya kutengeneza devices za watoto wetu. (We will agree on a payment, market value. We will build a factory to manufacture devices for our children.)" he declared.

In a bid to address the issue while supporting a noble cause, President Ruto pledged an additional Sh500 million from the budget towards the factory project.

He directed Kasarani MP Ronald Karauri to assure the affected individuals, stating, "Bwana Ronald Karauri (Kasarani MP) watu wako uwaambie sisi hatuna problem, tutawafanyia valuation watuletee pesa waendelee na maisha yao. (Ronald Karauri tell your people we have no problem; we will assess the value and they can pay the money and carry on with their lives)."

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This unexpected offer from President Ruto presents a unique approach to addressing land-related disputes.

The issue of land grabbing in Kenya has been on the headlines in the recent past, after homeowners and investors in Athi River had their structures demolished.

Many Kenyans had bought pieces of land in the area which was contested by East Africa Portland Cement.

In another case of land grabbing, the Environment and Land Court on Monday, ordered unregistered occupants of a parcel of land belonging to late tycoon Gerishon Kirima to vacate or face eviction on January 1.

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The court gave the occupants 70 days to vacate the land, which is located in Njiru.

Many of the affected occupants have fronted a proposal to pay the market value of the land instead of facing losses when the demolition starts.

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